Seanad debates

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Death of Former Member: Expressions of Sympathy


5:00 pm

Photo of Jerry ButtimerJerry Buttimer (Fine Gael)

Ar an gcéad dul síos, ba mhaith liom mo chómhbhron a ghabháil le bean chéile agus clann Joe Sherlock.

I had the pleasure of knowing Joe Sherlock politically and personally through my involvement with organisations in Cork. As previous speakers said, he was a vigorous campaigner and, in many ways, was probably ahead of New Labour in that he invented the term "socialism" in a different dimension. He was a very caring considerate man. I would like to be associated with the expressions of sympathy to his family.

He worked tirelessly on behalf of the people of Cork. I was particularly struck by his ability to work below the radar on behalf of many organisations to deliver results. Unlike perhaps many of us who seek publicity for some of our efforts, he worked quietly to secure results for people with disabilities and with learning support issues, with which I am familiar.

As alluded to by Senator McCarthy, he gave his view forcefully on occasions. Shortly after my election to Cork City Council in 2004, I met Joe in the front corridor of the County Hall. He called me aside and I will never forget the words he said to me. He said:

Now listen son, you may think you are on top of the world today, but you are only a very small way from being beaten again. Never lose touch with the people who put you in here. Always respect them and, more importantly, never forget from where you came.

I wish to be associated with the expressions of sympathy to the late Joe Sherlock. May he rest in peace.


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